Mikula Custom Combining, located in Chetek, WI, is a father and son custom harvesting business consisting of three combines and a grain cart that covers between 5,000 to 6,000 acres, harvesting corn and soybeans for multiple customers each fall. As a small company responsible for harvesting thousands of acres every year, high-level productivity and efficiency is key. Therefore, the company needs weighing equipment that provides the accuracy and record keeping capabilities necessary to comply with current insurance requirements and maintain customer satisfaction.
Because Mikula Custom Combining harvests crops for multiple farms, it is critical that all their field records are both correct and complete. The company is responsible for collecting and storing all harvest and weight information for each load, and any missing or incorrect data can lead to errors that impact profitability and customer retention.
“Some harvest days, we will work for several customers in one day, sometimes at the same time or overlapping when running all three machines,” said Brian Mikula, Maintenance Technician and Operator at Mikula Custom Combining. “Therefore, we must carefully record all harvest data for each customer, including the field, grain cart load weights, departure time of the delivery truck and the specific destination location(s) of the individual trucks.”
Before using an indicator that could gather and organize harvest notes, the company relied on manual data entry, often having to collect information and perform calculations in the field, a method that offers no margin for error, making inaccuracies significantly costly. Further, manually inputting field data can be time consuming, causing frequent production halts.
“When working in the field, I would have to carry a calculator, a notebook and several pens in order to perform the necessary record keeping on the fly,” adds Mikula.
To resolve these issues, Mikula Custom Combining implemented Avery Weigh-Tronix 3060 scale indicators with Field Foreman software. With the 3060 indicator, Mikula can collect and store detailed production information and provide their customers with comprehensive reports. They can also track and save all their data and harvest notes by entering the field, grain type, acres, delivery truck and delivery location into the indicator. This allows them to input, monitor and analyze harvest information with acute accuracy and in-the-field convenience.
“By having immediate access to this information, we can create custom reports,” said Mikula. “Now, when our customers require products to be delivered to multiple locations, we can quickly provide them with complete, correct information about what was collected from their fields, including the exact amount of harvested goods, the location each load came from and who delivered the goods to their final destination.”
For added convenience, Mikula can also view these reports on the indicator screen, print them out for customers or export them to a USB port for future use.
“Avery Weigh-Tronix Field Foreman Software has given me all the options and ability to custom-create my own desired records,” said Mikula. “The software offers the best of both worlds by allowing basic functions, such as grabbing a quick grain weight from a combine for a yield monitor calibration, to the most elaborate customer records.”
The Avery Weigh-Tronix 3060 indicator with a full-color, multi-segmented display provides clear view of weights and process information, while the touchscreen makes editing field data very intuitive. Where older or less technical indicators rely on just two or three external buttons to do all maneuvering, the 3060’s touchscreen design enables Mikula to locate data effortlessly, avoiding endless menu searching.